Red Land High grad Benny Montgomery picked No. 8 in MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies

Rob Rose
York Dispatch
Red Land's Benny Montgomery gestures after scoring a run in the fifth inning against Bethel Park in the PIAA Class 5-A state title game at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College Thursday, June 17, 2021. Bill Kalina photo

Benny Montgomery's dream came true on Sunday night.

The Red Land High School baseball standout was selected in the first round of the 2021 Major League Baseball draft by the Colorado Rockies, sharing the moment with family and friends.

"Unbelievable. No better feeling," Montgomery wrote on Twitter. "I can’t thank my family, friends, and coaches enough for helping me along the way. I'm so proud to be a part of the Colorado Rockies!"

Montgomery was picked No. 8 overall by Colorado. The slot value for the Rockies' pick was $5.177 million. Teams can use the full amount or less to sign the selected player and choose to spend the rest of the money on more draft picks later.

Before the draft, Montgomery was listed as the No. 15 overall prospect by mlb.com.

Montgomery is committed to play at the University of Virginia but is expected to turn pro after being selected in the top 10. He and the other draftees have until Aug. 15 to sign their deals or enroll in college.

The 6-foot, 5-inch, 205-pound outfielder posted a .420 batting average with seven home runs and 22 RBIs in 2021. Montgomery also scored 44 runs and stole 19 bases.

Red Land's Benny Montgomery is picked off at first with Bethel Park's Zachary Sackett making the tag in the PIAA Class 5-A state title game at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College Thursday, June 17, 2021. Bill Kalina photo

Montgomery helped the Patriots to the District 3 Class 5-A crown and a 25-5 overall record last season. In 2019, Montgomery guided Red Land to a PIAA 5-A title. The 2021 Patriots again advanced to the state 5-A title game, but lost the contest.

He was also recently named the Gatorade Pennsylvania Baseball Player of the Year.

Following in Sheaffer's footsteps: If Montgomery makes it to the Rockies, he would become the second Red Land High product to play for the team. Danny Sheaffer played for Rockies in 1993 and 1994.

Sheaffer congratulated Montgomery on Twitter, saying: "I’m pretty sure your stay there will be longer than mine. Best of luck."

Sheaffer played seven years in the majors with .232 average.

Sheaffer, who was picked No. 20 overall in the 1981 MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox, and Montgomery are among an impressive list of Red Land baseball players who became high MLB draft picks. Brett Wagner was selected No. 19 overall in 1994 by the St. Louis Cardinals and Greg Gross was a fourth-round pick in 1970 by the Houston Astros.

Lonnie White

Lonnie White: Montgomery isn't the only prospect central Pennsylvania fans should pay attention to during the MLB draft.

Penn State football and baseball commit Lonnie White could have a difficult decision to make.

White was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the No. 64 pick in the MLB draft. The second-round slot the Pirates used on White has a value of $1.05 million.

White was ranked the No. 72 draft prospect by mlb.com and was projected to be a second-round pick. Baseball America was much higher on White, ranking him as their No. 32 prospect before the draft.

He is set to be a wide receiver and center fielder for the Nittany Lions next year, but he could choose a signing bonus worth $1 million over playing for PSU.

The 6-3, 212-pound outfielder hit .384 with five home runs and 24 RBIs for Malvern Prep in 2021. On the football field, he recorded 478 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns in four games.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.